In the spring, Gov. Tom Corbett postponed implementation of the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards, citing concerns from lawmakers and public. Corbett asked the State Board of Education and lawmakers to review the standards and make any modifications they deem necessary.
“Some of the concerns that were raised were the cost of implementing the Pennsylvania Common Core,” said Pennsylvania Department of Education spokesman Tim Eller. “The possibility of using the national tests that are being developed by two consortiums, which Pennsylvania is not doing; concerns over standards themselves, are they rigorous enough?”
Other concerns include the scope of data collection. Eller said there is concern that there is going to be a massive increase in the amount of data collected by the state department of education then transferred to the U.S. Department of Education.
Eller said the state is moving away from the national Common Core Standards, and instead will implement standards tailored to the needs of the commonwealth.
“In many areas, the Pennsylvania academic standards that had already been in place were actually more rigorous than the Common Core,” he said. “In areas where the Pennsylvania academic standards were not as rigorous, the model of the national Common Core is put into place in those areas.”
Eller said reviews of standards are not uncommon.
“The process that’s ongoing right now is a normal process, or routine process if you will,” he said, “and it’s critical to keep the standards to the level to keep Pennsylvania students competitive, not just among each other, but among other states and globally.”
The state Board of Education is expected to begin discussions on the Pennsylvania Common Core standards at its July 10 meeting, though any action on them will likely wait until September. Pending regulatory review, Eller said the process could be wrapped up, and new standards approved by late fall. They would be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year.